Hall talks about new-look D-backs with fans
D-backs president fields questions during online chat
During his monthly web chat with fans, D-backs president and CEO Derrick Hall discussed the depth of the pitching staff and said they are looking for experienced utility/bench help to add to the roster. He also discussed Fan Fest and the new Spring Training facility, among many other topics.
Derrick Hall: Welcome to today's chat. I look forward to answering your questions.
rox08: What do you have planned so far for Fan Fest and has a date been set?
Derrick Hall: We are planning on having SUBWAY D-backs Fan Fest on Saturday, February 12 here at Chase Field. A release with all events planned that day is soon to come. It will be similar to the last few years, which we received so much positive feedback on.
twww: What are the chances Justin Upton will be with a different team in 2011?
Derrick Hall: No chance. Kevin Towers was merely listening to what teams were willing to do, as he should do with any and all players. At the end of the day, and after considering all options, we are a better team with Justin on our team.
lowie0930: Based on what he accomplished last season, do you envision Daniel Hudson being the D-backs ace for years to come?
Derrick Hall: He certainly is talented, and has the ability to be an ace for us. He pitched as well as anybody in the league last year after the acquisition. His future is very bright indeed.
rox08: How are things coming along with the new Spring Training facility?
Derrick Hall: It is coming along as hoped. We are actually ahead of schedule and it will be ready to go by the end of this month. It is the absolute best facility in the game. We are proud and we hope you enjoy it.
twww: How many changes have been made in the bullpen during the offseason? This seemed to be the biggest opportunity for improvement last year late into games.
Derrick Hall: It was our biggest hole to fill for sure. Our baseball staff focused on the bullpen immediately with the acquisitions of J.J. Putz, Kam Mickolio, David Hernandez, Mike Hampton, Joe Paterson and Bryan Sweeney. Kevin Towers has always had a strong reputation for building bullpens and pitching staffs.
biking2011: Why did the D-backs trade Mark Reynolds?
Derrick Hall: It was a tough decision, but as mentioned in the question before, we needed to shore up our bullpen and Reynolds brought us Hernandez and Mickolio, while helping us cut down the strikeouts -- another one of our key objectives.
leivian: Will the D-backs acquire any good situational hitters, like Orlando Hudson proved to be for us?
Derrick Hall: We certainly hope the additions of Melvin Mora, Xavier Nady and Geoff Blum will help us in that category. We are also looking for more experienced utility/bench help at this time.
raganite: Our overall team and, particularly, corner infield situation is much weaker from a run production standpoint. Now with Beltre off the market, we don't appear to have any options in free agency. What Minor League players present solutions?
Derrick Hall: We definitely sacrificed power numbers, but Kevin Towers looked for players who will be better suited for our ballpark while hoping to reduce the number of strikeouts. Juan Miranda, Brandon Allen, Geoff Blum and Xavier Nady can all play first base, while Blum and Melvin Mora will get the bulk of the play at third.
dfculver: Going into the 2011 season, what will your focus be to return the D-backs to a championship competitive team?
Derrick Hall: First and foremost, it will be a complete overhaul by Kirk Gibson of the culture in the clubhouse. He will make serious changes and get every player on his and his coaching staff's program. And what a staff, with Alan Trammell, Don Baylor, Charles Nagy, Matt Williams, Eric Young and Glenn Sherlock, we have tremendous experience and professionalism.
biking2011: What do you see as the starting lineup on Opening Day?
Derrick Hall: It really depends on the pitching match-ups, but assuming everyone stays healthy, we can definitely expect to see Stephen Drew, Justin Upton, Kelly Johnson, Miguel Montero, Chris Young, Melvin Mora and Xavier Nady out there.
biking2011: Do you see the D-backs making any other trades or signing other free agent players?
Derrick Hall: We may be able to add a starter or two to join us in camp, and I expect us to bolster the bench with another player.
bspechter: Where can we find out about jobs for the upcoming season at both chase and the new spring training facility?
Derrick Hall: Both facilities will have job postings on dbacks.com or at teamworkonline.com. Thanks for your interest.
dfculver: What's the best part of the new Spring Training facility?
Derrick Hall: Great question, and I don't even know where to start. I would probably say location first, but what makes it special is all of the shade, the intimacy and interaction that the design brings and the breath-taking views.
diamondbacksfan0704: Will our rotation suffer from the lack of a proven bona-fide ace?
Derrick Hall: If our starters can perform like they did last season, and even improve in some areas, we will have great balance from 1-5, with a nice blend of right and left-handers. Every team would love to have a top-caliber ace, but I also like our depth.
dfculver: Randy Johnson was a great pitcher for the D-backs, any chance he could be honored with a retired jersey someday?
Derrick Hall: I would like for that to happen and believe it will either this season or next. Randy knows we would like to honor him, and we have had some good conversations.
diamondbacksfan0704: Can you see KT inviting a veteran starter to Spring Training (a Rodrigo Lopez or Kris Benson type) as insurance for the rotation?
Derrick Hall: We have discussed it frequently, and he is looking at all of the pitchers still available. He understands the importance of bringing in more options and experience and will continue to shop and monitor.
Derrick Hall: We have run out of time. I appreciate all of the questions and wish I could have gotten to more. I look forward to seeing all of you at Fan Fest and our new spring facility within the next few months.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.